To meet the challenges of the 21st century, the world
needs exceptional thinkers in mathematics and the sciences.
To help nurture those future leaders, Johns Hopkins'
Center for Talented
Youth, along with eight partner organizations, has
launched Cogito.org, a Web
site designed to help gifted pre-college students develop
their talents and interests in these fields. Cogito means
"I think" and was taken from the Latin Cogito, ergo sum,
which means "I think, therefore I am."
The Web site connects these students with peers from
around the world who share a passion for math and science,
and with professionals already working in the sciences.
"Through the power of the Internet, Cogito can bridge
geographic and cultural boundaries," said Lea Ybarra,
executive director of CTY. "A student in China can share
math problems with a student in Chicago, or a group of
middle school students can interview a nanotechnologist."
Cogito is loaded with inspiring content for and about
young scientists, including interviews with experts;
profiles of young scientists; science news; Web resources;
and searchable directories of summer programs, competitions
and other academic opportunities.
While most of Cogito's content is available to the
public, members have access to interactive features,
including discussion forums where they are currently
talking online with a young environmental scientist at the
McMurdo station in Antarctica, a roboticist from Carnegie
Mellon and an astronomer looking for life on other planets.
Membership is by invitation to students around the world
nominated by CTY and other organizations and by individuals
who work with gifted students.
Nina Vasan, a Cogito advisory board member and winner
of the 2002 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award, said,
"Cogito is a dream come true for today's young scientists.
I would have been addicted to a site like this. Seeing
everything that it has to offer makes me wish I could go
back in time and redo high school with the help of
Vasan, along with five other math and science
competition winners, recently hosted a Cogito discussion
forum about doing serious research as a high school
student. The success of Cogito depends on exactly this sort
of participation by scientists and mathematicians, from
college students to retired professionals, to serve as
guest speakers, resident experts and site advisers.
Said Ybarra, "Along with the benefits the site holds
for young people, we think this is a wonderful opportunity
for members of the Hopkins community to engage directly
with budding young scientists and mathematicians around the
world. We hope they will want to get involved."
Cogito was developed by CTY in partnership with other
leading centers serving gifted students, based at Carnegie
Mellon, Duke and Northwestern universities; the
universities of Denver and Iowa; the Center for Excellence
in Education; the Davidson Institute for Talent
Development; and Science Service. The John Templeton
Foundation provided initial funding for its development.
Anyone interested in contributing to Cogito.org is
asked to contact Carol Blackburn at
To take a look at the site, go to